Augusta University incentivizes troops to become teachers

(Source: WRDW/WAGT)
Published: Jan. 8, 2020 at 5:26 AM EST
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Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2019

News 12 This Morning

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A program at Augusta University is teaching military service members to serve in a new way. It's called Troops to Teachers and it benefits more than just the students.

Amanda Woods says she went to boot camp right after she finished high school. But after making the transition to teaching sixth grade math after eight years in the Navy, she said she was surprised by the similarities.

"There's a chain of command, there's different acronyms that you have to learn, there's specific ways to put through different forms of paperwork," said Woods.

It's exactly the reason Dr. Kristy Brown says Augusta University's College of Education wanted to take part in the Troops to Teachers program.

"We believe that veterans and service members make the best teachers, because they're already in serving their country, and so serving in education is just another way," she said.

Troops leave the AU program with either their Bachelor's or Master's and teaching certification. There's also monetary incentives.

"They will give them a $10,000 bonus if they agree to teach in a Title I school or a rural school area," said Dr. Brown.

Troops to Teachers is a nationwide program, and participants can get certified at any participating school, but Dr. Brown says she hopes having Fort Gordon and the number of Title I and rural area schools will incentivize people to choose AU.

Woods says being able to serve in a different way made the transition to civilian life a lot easier.

"Typically in the military, you get trained to train other people and you get trained to be a leader. So, now I get to be a leader, and I'm training others. I'm just not training people in uniform," she said.

The mission: train America's future leaders.

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